There’s no doubt that Nathan Drake is one of the most popular game characters to emerge this generation. After all he is a 21st century Indiana Jones, with a lot of charm and wit. He seems like someone you’d love to hang around with, and someone who just takes life as it comes, even though most of his time is spent looking down the barrel of a gun. However, behind this exterior of a charming guy lies the mind of a cunning, ruthless, secretive mass murderer.
“But wait!” you may cry, asking how our beloved Nathan Drake could be any of those things when all he does is try to help his friends. We know that isn’t true though, Drake doesn’t start his adventures looking to help people. No, he goes on them out of pure greed, searching for gold or other treasures.
Because Drake is so idolised it becomes easy to forget that he is a professional thief. His life has revolved around stealing from people and, if you think about it, from the pool of human knowledge.
In Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune he went to find El Dorado. In Uncharted 2 the target was the Cintamani Stone and Marco Polo’s lost ships. In Uncharted 3 his target was the lost city of Iram, though this also had the added bonus of screwing over his nemesis, Kathrine Marlow. It’s only really in Golden Abyss where Nate tries to walk away from any treasure, yet that could be the tipping point that drives his future actions.
It's not like he keeps the best company either.
After all, in all of these adventures Drake makes major discoveries that fill in gaps in human history, as well as evidence of new viruses and species which would help further scientific knowledge.
It also has to be noted that the creatures Drake discovers pose a great risk to any humans who venture near their territory. The creatures in Drake’s Fortune managed to kill off a whole colony, but he doesn’t warn people of the danger as far as we know. Anyone who innocently ventures to that area has no idea the danger they could face, and their deaths would be on Drake’s head.
But the real crime is allowing gaps to exist in archaeological history when they can be filled so quickly if only Drake would share his knowledge. I’ll let the statue of El Dorado pass because that was a deadly weapon, but the destruction of Iram, Shangri-La and the Golden Abyss have to be deemed as terrible crimes. Could you imagine how much we could have learnt from these places? Their discoveries would all be historical events in themselves. How often do you find a lost city? Finding Shangri-La would be like finding Pompeii all over again today.
But I suppose this destruction shouldn’t be surprising, it seems to be in Drake’s nature to destroy, though his usual target of destruction is people. Over the years Drake has been operating how many have died by his hand, either from being shot, having their neck snapped or from being pulled over a ledge?
Falling over a ledge wouldn’t necessarily be a quick death either. I’m willing to bet that more than one person fell from a great height and landed with a shattered spine but remained alive. Can you imagine that agony spread over hours, or even days? Nate doesn’t care though because there’s the all important treasure at the end of all these deaths.
Machine guns in the desert, all in a day's work.
And what about the families of these slaughtered people? Hundreds of kids have lost parents now, and families have lost an income. In Golden Abyss the guys Dante hired probably belong to a private military contractor.
If hundreds of employees go missing on a job this company would be sending out all the resources they could to find them.
Pressure from the media and government to find these people would be ridiculously high. Drake and Chase destroy the Golden Abyss to hide it from the world as it’s dangerous, but their little murder spree would soon have all sorts descending on the area.
All that death and destruction is just the result of one adventure! As soon as Drake was picked up by Turkish authorities in Uncharted 2 he should have been kept in a maximum security facility with no chance of bail.
But of course he is let out to continue murdering across the world, and it doesn’t even seem to phase him. During Golden Abyss I cleared an area of enemies and do you know what Drake said? “Finally.” Nothing about the terrible taking of lives, just “Finally”, as if he’d managed to finish a particularly tough essay.
Nathan Drake can play the part of a charming, witty guy but he is nothing more than a thief who kills anyone who gets in his way. He makes important discoveries only to hide them away from the rest of the world because he doesn’t trust anyone outside his little circle. Nathan Drake belongs in a secure facility with access to therapy so he can discuss his murderous ways, but instead he gets a pass simply because he’s likeable.